Do you ever feel like you’re never able to lose weight easily, or balance your hormones, no matter what you do?
Do you resolve to change your eating habits, only to find yourself eating the “bad foods” again 6 hours later?
It’s almost as if something has taken over your entire being and it is controlling you, right?
Well, if any of this sounds familiar then this post is for you!
I’m going to share the truth about a very popular food additive that has been scientifically shown to sabotage hormones and directly affect weight gain.
Just by avoiding this one ingredient you will take a major step towards stabilizing your hormones, reducing cravings and jumpstarting your weight loss engines!
THE FOOD ADDITIVE THAT HIJACKS HORMONES
There is one food ingredient that is beloved in the packaged food and restaurant industry.
Why is this ingredient so adored by food business?
Well, to put it bluntly: it makes sh*t taste good.
What exactly does this mean? It means this ingredient scores high on the “craveability” scale.
Craveability is a food industry term that rates an ingredient’s ability to create STRONG cravings for more food.
And if you’re thinking this ingredient is only used in packaged food or fast food restaurants, you’re mistaken.
Even gourmet restaurants are known to take advantage of this dangerous ingredient!
So which ingredient am I referring to? It’s the one and only MSG (monosodium glutamate).
MSG is a food additive that is very effective at making overly processed food taste better.
This is great for business because most packaged or restaurant food isn’t always made from the best ingredients.
But with the help of some MSG, our taste buds can respond very differently to that food.
So how does MSG trick your body into eating more and more food? By disrupting hormones!
TOP 3 SIDE EFFECTS OF MSG
1. Increases Dopamine
MSG excites the brain and causes excess secretion of the hormone dopamine.
This spells trouble for one main reason: dopamine is connected to pleasure and reward in the brain.
This means that the dopamine is released, the more we seek out pleasure and reward.
Since MSG-containing foods lead to an increase in dopamine, these foods quite literally damage the brain.
In fact, foods that have MSG can create a state that is similar to drug addiction.
And just like an addict, we end up seeking more pleasure.
This means, we eat more of the MSG-containing food that created the pleasurable feeling.
You see how this can create a vicious cycle, and why it can seem like you don’t have control over your own body?
The more MSG foods we eat, the more dopamine is released…and the more we crave the MSG food, then the more dopamine is released…well, you see where this is going.
It becomes almost inevitable that MSG will lead to more food consumption and will make it very difficult to lose weight easily.
2. Creates Leptin Resistance
When we eat food, a hormone called leptin signals a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
Leptin tells the brain that we are full and then the brain knows that it’s time for us to stop eating.
That’s when we put down the fork 🙂
All this works under healthy conditions.
Now, guess what happens when we throw MSG into the mix?
You might have already guessed it…the hypothalamus is no longer able to respond to the leptin signals when there is MSG in the body.
So what does that mean? It means your brain doesn’t know when it’s time to stop eating.
So you could just keep on going and going and going, eating yourself into a state of imbalance. Yikes!
This inability to respond to leptin is linked to the first point I mentioned above: excess secretion of dopamine.
When there’s too much dopamine in the body, the brain is in an altered state.
And when the leptin sends a signal, the brain is so overly excited by the dopamine that it’s not able to stop craving the MSG food.
So once again, we see how MSG makes it almost impossible to lose weight easily!
MSG basically hijacks your hormones and brain, and squashes all of your good intentions!
3. Creates Stress and Inflammation
As if hormone disruption and leptin resistance wasn’t enough, here comes inflammation!
Because MSG is a toxin, it creates chronic, chemical stress in the body. That’s in addition to the emotional stress that comes with weight gain, hormone imbalance and any other symptoms that the MSG creates
So what’s the end result of all this stress? Chronic inflammation. Stress always leads to inflammation.
Once again, this spells more trouble because chronic inflammation is linked to various conditions, including:
- leaky gut
- hot flashes
- hormone imbalance…
Did you notice something curious in this list? Hormone imbalance and many inflammatory conditions (like leaky gut) are listed.
So basically, MSG disrupts hormones. And MSG also creates inflammation, which also leads to further hormone imbalance…
Because everything in the body is linked, once a small spark is set off by something as toxic as MSG, it becomes very difficult to lose weight easily or achieve any other health goal, for that matter!
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM MSG AND LOSE WEIGHT
1. Read Food Labels
At this point you’re probably ready to throw out anything in your kitchen that has MSG on the label, right?
I had the same reaction too when I learned about the dangers of MSG.
And then I learned something else that further added to my frustrations…
It turns out that you will hardly ever find the word “MSG” in the ingredients lists of packaged food.
“But how can that be?” you might be asking.
Well, FDA regulations allow companies to essentially “hide” MSG under various names.
Some of the common hidden names for MSG include:
- citric acid
- natural flavors
- hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- hydrolyzed yeast extract
- plant protein extract
- yeast extract
- textured whey protein
- textured soy protein
There are other hidden names for this sneaky ingredient, but the above list highlights some of the most common.
It’s also worth noting that while some labels state “no MSG added,” and “contains no MSG,” there still could be MSG in the food product.
That’s because according to FDA laws, MSG does NOT have to be listed when it is used as a flavor enhancer.
It is only required to be listed as MSG when it is used as a processing agent.
Soooo…needless to say that companies use MSG as a flavor enhancer so that they can get away with the “no MSG added” stamp.
And this is another reason why having that list of hidden MSG names is so helpful.
2. Prepare Your Own Meals (As Much As Possible)
MSG allows the entire food industry to make bad food taste good.
And that goes for restaurants too.
So, whether it’s a fast food chain or a high-end restaurant, the less restaurant food you eat, the better for you.
3. Detox And Heal
No matter how long you’ve been eating processed food or restaurant food, you can start taking steps today to detox your body of ingredients like MSG.
A gentle and well thought out detox program will allow you to flush out MSG, heal your gut, restore balance to your brain, shed excess pounds and overall, heal the imbalances created by MSG.
To learn more about how to do this, I strongly recommended reading these two posts for the steps to follow (plus a shopping guide and some free recipes!):
Sometimes it can seem like there are lots of traps out there, all of them waiting to sabotage your health.
But remember to just focus on eating more whole foods and less processed food. Seek balance, not perfection.
Now I’d love to hear from you…what has helped you lose weight easily or balance your hormones?
Do you check food labels to make sure you’re getting the best quality ingredients?
Drop a comment and let’s keep the conversation going.